Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani

Rudy, Palin endorse controversial N.C. Republican

Ilario Pantano, the ex-Marine who killed two Iraqi prisoners, snags two high-profile endorsements in House race


--

Shares

Justin Elliott
October 29, 2010 12:39AM (UTC)

We predicted a while back that North Carolina congressional hopeful Ilario Pantano, if he beats incumbent Rep. Mike McIntryre on Tuesday, will become an instant star on the right-wing of the national GOP. Now it seems that Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani smell a winner in Pantano, too.

Both potential 2010 presidential hopefuls have in the last week endorsed Pantano, who is best known for a 2004 episode in which he killed two unarmed Iraqi prisoners (charges were later brought and dropped). He has also embraced the endorsement of anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller.

Advertisement:

Palin praised Pantano in a Facebook note Tuesday:

Ilario Pantano is another dedicated patriot running for Congress this year. Ilario first swore an oath to defend the Constitution as a 17-year-old Marine. Today, he needs your help to bring common sense back to Washington. ... We can win this seat and send a decorated Marine to Congress who will be a strong voice for veterans and active-duty military.

And today Giuliani has put out a statement (which, yes, mentions Sept. 11 within just 10 words):

"Ilario Pantano witnessed the terrorists attacks on 9/11, and having already fought one war for his country he felt compelled to re-join the Marines and defend his country a second time. All of us wanted to do what we could, and many talked about it, but Ilario made bold strong decisions to put himself in harm’s way. Time and time again, Ilario Pantano has chosen country before self and that is why I am proud to endorse him for the US Congress."

Note that Palin and Giuliani are each playing up Pantano's time in the military. And Democrats remain virtually silent on what Pantano did in Iraq. That's an inversion of the dynamic an outside observer might expect, but, as a local analyst told us last month, many in the district see Pantano as a hero.


Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

MORE FROM Justin ElliottFOLLOW elliottjustin

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2010 Elections Ilario Pantano Rudy Giuliani Sarah Palin War Room

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •